Diabetes, Mental Health, and Utilization of Mental Health Professionals Among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Adults
Fernandez, Angela Rose
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Objective. We evaluated whether diabetes or borderline/prediabetes is associated with serious psychological distress, and whether contact with a mental health professional has an interacting effect on this association. Methods. We used data from the 2014 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander National Health Interview Survey, a cross sectional study of approximately 3,000 households across all 50 U.S. states. We used multiple logistic regression to examine the potential association between diabetes status and serious psychological distress among the 2,587 adult participants sampled. We also examined the potential interaction of mental health professional utilization on this association. Results. Reporting a diabetes diagnosis was associated with positive scoring for serious psychological distress, conditioned upon age, sex, partnership status, and educational levels. Adding the interaction effect of contact with a mental health professional did not have a statistically significant impact on this association. Conclusions. Mental health stigma, use of non-culturally relevant measures, and exclusion of informal mental support variables from research may influence both self-report and measurement of mental health symptomatology. These factors may suggest the need for culturally grounded measurement development among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders.
- Global health 
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